Help! Predator protection for new coop

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Thejperez, Aug 13, 2018.

  1. Thejperez

    Thejperez Songster

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    The last week has been a bad week for me and my flock, having lost all but one duck and a separate coop of bantams, from some unknown predator. The coop was pretty old, but kept predators out for years. I need to get back on my feet with a new flock. I'm going to tear down my current coop and put up a new open air coop.
    I'm still working on the overall design, but it's going to be around 10 feet long, 5 or 6 wide and 5 and a half tall. I've been looking at predator deterrents and I want to know what works? Electric fencing? Motion activated lights and sprinklers? How big should the hardware cloth apron be? What else should I do for the new coop?
     
  2. Latestarter

    Latestarter Free Ranging

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    You should use 1/2" hardware cloth up at least 3'. I used this on top of 2"x4"x6' height welded wire fencing. Small birds like sparrows and such can get through the welded wire above the hardware cloth so if you're trying to exclude all other animals you'll need to cover everything with bird netting or the like. You could also use the 1/2" hardware cloth for the entire exterior wall.

    ETA: Make sure you use poultry staples vice regular stapler staples or screws with fender washers to attach the hardware cloth. Regular staples are too easily pulled out.

    The apron (on the ground) could be 1/4" hardware cloth (cheaper but thinner wire) and should extend out at least 2' or buried (straight down) at least 18", 24" better. Any entrance points need to be reinforced so a predator can't pry it out or push it in at the bottom. Raccoons have very dexterous fingers and can unlatch all basic latches. You need a latch that you can put a lock or carabiner through to prevent this from happening.

    Sorry for you losses and hope you fare better with your new coop and run setup.
     
    BirdGirl2004 likes this.
  3. There is nothing that will improve security more than a good electric fence. I my opinion a coop made out of wet noodles is almost sufficient as long as you have an electric fence that will knock the predators to their knees each and every time they try to take a chicken. I am not talking about a electric net but a real electric fence with either small gauge electric fence wire or a barbed wire perimeter that will carry a lot of Joules and jolt the heck out of whatever touches it. Then you need to close up the top of your run to deny hawks, owls, and eagles access to your flock. Even a coop made completely out of 1/2 or 1/4 hardware cloth can be improved with a real hot electric fence surrounding it.
     
  4. BirdGirl2004

    BirdGirl2004 Crowing

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    First and foremost, I'm so sorry you lost your flock, but I'm happy your gonna get a whole new flock!:hugs
    I agree with @chickengeorgeto ! I have an electric fence and it works AMAZING keeping out all unwanted predators! Although the design of the coop is important, the electric fence is great! :wee
    I would also recommend hardware cloth (as some of the others have recommended) because it keeps out unwanted (hands) *ahem* yes I'm talking about you raccoons!!
    Good luck! :thumbsup
    post pictures of your new flock... I'm sure we'd all LOVE to see pics!! :love:love:love:love:love:love
     
  5. 123RedBeard

    123RedBeard Songster

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    In regards to hardware cloth ... keep in mind that it comes made out of different gauge wires ... the smaller the number (gauge) the THICKER the wires = stronger! All hardware cloth is not equal. It also can be installed with a board SCREWED down over the edges, no place for critters to pry ...

    I also agree with the real electric fence ... get a charger that puts out a lot of "joule's" the bigger the better! More shock! 2-5 joules should work for most backyard setups.

    Also don't forget to buy an extra ground rod, and ALSO hook the ground wire to your actual hardware cloth fence, this way if a critter tries to climb the fence, and looses contact with the earth ground, it will still be on the fence "ground".

    You could have a 25 joules charger, but if it's not grounded, no "Mr Sparky"! Think about the birds that sit on the high power electric lines, compared to the squirrel that steps in the wrong spot!

    If your coop can be completely surrounded by your run ... and have electric fence around both ... much more likely to stop ground predators.
     
  6. llombardo

    llombardo Crowing

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    Exactly what I did. Raccoons were trying to get in and I kept finding the attempts, so an electric fence went up. I wasn't playing when I put up 8 strands. I've covered known predators--raccoons, oppossums, skunk, fox and coyote. I know it will handle a coyote because my german shepherd got zapped and he stays away now. I was against the electric fence but now I'm happy to have it. I also have heavy duty netting over the top. Regular netting is not a good option IMO
     
  7. llombardo

    llombardo Crowing

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    So I have a ground rod in the ground hooked up to the charger. During the day I can't have the enclosure hot because they peck at it, but how do I get that going for night time? Put another ground rod in and hook that up where? To the hardware cloth? Will one connection go around the whole enclosure? Please forgive those questions--I am just learning. I worry about raccoons going from fence to top of enclosure and want them to get zapped. I just don't understand how a ground wire to fence would work?
     
  8. 123RedBeard

    123RedBeard Songster

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  9. llombardo

    llombardo Crowing

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    The rod I have is copper but the clamp is metal. That is how it came. Will that be a problem? And I have the ground going to the ground on charger and the fence going to fence. Do I need to extend the wire from fence and attach it to the ground and fence on charger?
     
  10. 123RedBeard

    123RedBeard Songster

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    When you say "metal" ... do you mean steel? (Copper is "metal" too) Copper to steel will corrode over time, and weaken the power (electricity) going through it, corrosion will look like white rust ... but will take a year or two.

    To Clarify ... You Have TWO fences (or that's what I'm thinking ;) ) the hardware cloth fence is a physical barrier, and then you have seperate wires that are powered by the fence charger ("HOT") these two fence systems never should touch ... !!!

    The ground rod and physical fence can be connected together, but never hook the hot and ground together directly (that's the critters job!) ... look at the above link ... maybe they can explain it better than I'm trying to do ... they even have drawings! :)
     

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